Love Affair (April 7, 1939)
Released March 16, 1939: (running time 1 hour and 26 minutes) After a torrid love affair aboard ship, before parting to their different lives, Michel and Terry decide to meet atop the Empire State Building in six months if they still love each other.
Produced by Leo McCarey
Directed by Leo McCarey
Written by Delmer Daves, Donald Ogden Stewart, Mildred Cram, Leo McCarey, S.N. Behrman.
The Actors: Irene Dunne (Terry McKay), Charles Boyer (Michel Marnet), Maria Ouspenskaya (Janou, grandmother Marnet), Lee Bowman (Kenneth Bradley), Astrid Allwyn (Lois Clarke), Maurice Moscovitch (Maurice Cobert), Scotty Beckett (boy on ship), Ferike Boros (Terry's landlady), Mary Bovard (autograph seeker), Tom Dugan (drunk with the Christmas tree), Bess Flowers (woman of the couple on deck), Dell Henderson (nightclub manager), Leyland Hodgson (doctor), Carol Hughes (nightclub patron), Lloyd Ingraham (doctor), Phyllis Kennedy (Annie, Terry's maid), Joan Leslie (autograph seeker), Fred Malatesta (shipboard photographer), Frank McGlynn Sr. (orphanage Superintendant), Harold Miller (man of the couple on deck), Gerald Mohr (man), Bert Moorhouse (shipboard passenger), Henry Norton (shipboard passenger), Oscar O'Shea (the Priest), The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir (choir)
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If You Wish Strong Enough, and Wish Long Enough . . .
This movie is one of the world’s finest stories for lovers, and although it has been re-made several times, this original version is by far the best, in my humble opinion. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Writing, Best Original Song, and Best Art Direction.
Michel is the son of a wealthy French Diplomat, and he has never needed to work, but he is finally giving up his playboy lifestyle to marry a wealthy society lady in the U.S.
Terry is a young lady from Kansas that is engaged to a wealthy man and about to get married. They are both on a ship headed for New York, and after they accidentally meet, the sparks fly and as Michel happily flirts with Terry, she tries to not like him, but is very attracted to him.
For eight days aboard the steamship headed for New York they enjoy a torrid love affair. Michel and Terry muse about getting married to each other, but Michel is worried that they are both accustomed to a life of luxury, but neither of them have the wealth needed to support the other.
Michael tells Terry that if he wishes hard enough, and wishes long enough, maybe . . . . Terry interrupts and tells him flippantly that maybe he will get what he wants for Christmas.
Michel decides that he will try to earn a living as a painter, and if she can wait six months while he tries to establish his business, he will then ask her to marry him. She is more than willing, and as they approach the New York harbor, with the Empire State Building in the background, she suggests that if they still feel the same about each other in six months that they meet on July 1, at 5pm on the 102nd Floor. If either of them decides that they do not want to marry the other, they only need to not show up on July 1. She says dreamily that the Empire State Building is the closest thing to Heaven that they have in New York.
This leads to that and on the first day of July Michel arrives early, and quickly heads for the observation area on the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building to wait for Terry. He waits . . . . and waits . . . . and waits for the girl he has fallen so deeply in love with. Michel waits at the top of the Empire State building until it is dark, and storming with heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Michael finally leaves, heartbroken because the love of his life didn’t show up.
The months pass, and Christmas is approaching, Michel is over his anger at losing the only woman that he ever really loved. Finally, it is Christmas Eve, and Michel is still wishing . . . still hoping . . . . still wondering what happened to his true love. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne
Charles Boyer and Maria Ouspenskaya
Charles Boyer and Maurice Moscovitch
Charles Boyer and Scotty Beckett
Charles Boyer waits atop the Empire State Building
Dell Henderaon and Irene Dunne
Irene Dunne watches Charles Boyer and Astrid Allwyn
Maria Ouspenskaya and Charles Boyer
Oscar O'Shea and Lee Bowman